Strengthening India-Bangladesh Ties
- India and Bangladesh signed seven agreements recently to expand cooperation in diverse areas, and restored a cross-border rail link which was in operation till 1965.
- The restoration of the Chilahati-Haldibari railway link and signing of the pacts, providing for cooperation in areas of hydrocarbons, agriculture and textiles among others, came at a virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina.
A Glance at relations between India and Bangladesh
- Bangladesh is a key pillar of India’s “Neighbourhood First” policy and the ties between India and Bangladesh have witnessed an upswing in the last few years.
- Both sides have scaled up trade and economic engagement besides implementing a number of connectivity and infrastructure projects.
- The major factor behind the growing relationship between India and Bangladesh is the “Leadership consistency”.
- There is a continuous consensus given to Bangladesh by India in all the aspects whether it is trade, resolving disputes by negotiations, building infrastructure and following soft power diplomacy besides hard power diplomacy which is followed by China.
- The Chittagong port was made available to India for transit which is very important for India from the security point of view.
- Thus, connectivity is a key to prosperity and development and restoration of railway links may further strengthen the economic ties between both the countries.
- Bangladesh is a part of The Belt and Road Initiative of China which has invested 24 billion dollars for 27 projects in Bangladesh.
- China is the largest trading partner of Bangladesh and is on the way of increasing its ties.
Eg: China gave duty free entry to 97000 products of Bangladesh.
- Several terror organisations are getting foothold in Bangladesh and is a major cause of concern for India.
- The water sharing issue between the two nations.
- The Rohingyas issue because they are vulnerable people who can be used as a terrorist group against India by extremist organisations.
- India needs to open up its markets and support the economic recovery of Bangladesh.
- Submarines can be supplied by India to Bangladesh rather than being supplied by China.
- Bangladesh can act as a major coordinator in the SAARC.
- Post pandemic, Medical diplomacy can be a major area for strengthening relations.
- Tieing up with like minded countries like Japan and the USA may help in stabilising the relations further.
- Bangladesh can pave a way for regional integration because smaller countries tend to balance between larger countries.
- The Indo-Bangladesh relations have a special place and can be strengthened further by increasing trade and connectivity in the upcoming future.
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